The current home of CBMM’s administrative offices, Dodson House was built sometime between 1851 and 1861 for the Dyott family. When Richard S. Dodson acquired the home in the 1880s, he expanded it slightly, raising the side facing the water and adding the spectacular triple porch on the water side.
The bricks were probably made locally, out of locally obtained clay, and like most 19th century brick, they were not fired at such a high temperature as modern bricks. They were originally mortared with a lime- and oyster shell-based mortar, which likewise, is softer than modern mixes of Portland cement. Over time, exposure to the weather eroded some of the original mortar, and water can now seep through the brick walls, damaging the building interior.
CBMM undertook a major rehabilitation of Dodson House in the early 2000s, but never completed the task of repointing the mortar between the historic bricks. Thanks to funds provided through a Maryland Bond Bill, and matched by donations to CBMM’s five-year comprehensive campaign, that project has now been accomplished. It was done according to preservation best practices so that Dodson House can stand for another generation and more.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. To learn more or to support CBMM, visit cbmm.org.